Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Vintage Fridays: Carlos Lopez, 1979 Topps #568

I was leafing through my vintage Orioles binder today and realized that I know less than nothing about Carlos Lopez. That's why we have the Internet, I suppose. Now I can tell you that Carlos was born in Mexico, making him one of twelve all-time O's from south of the border. The most prominent were Fernando Valenzuela and Rodrigo Lopez. The outfielder played in the Mexican League from 1969-1973, at which point the Angels purchased his contract. He batted .321 with 126 extra-base hits in three years in the minors. He went 0-for-10 with a pair of walks in a late 1976 audition with California, and was claimed by the Mariners in that offseason's expansion draft. At age 28, he started 75 games in right field for Seattle and batted a team-high .283 with 8 home runs and 34 RBI. His 16 steals were surpassed only by Dave Collins' 25 thefts.

In December 1977, Carlos and journeyman pitcher Tommy Moore were traded to the Orioles for pitcher Mike Parrott. Moore was released by the Birds in March, but Lopez spent the entire 1978 season in Baltimore as a bench player. He appeared in 129 games but started only 47, batting .238 with 4 homers and 20 RBI. He was error-free in 62 chances in right field, and had a pair of three-hit games. It proved to be his last season in the majors and his penultimate year in pro ball. In 1979 he hit .282 and went 24-for-31 as a base stealer for the Rochester Red Wings. Thirty years later, some shlub wrote a blog post about him.

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